Cook: 'I have a responsibility to manage people's expectations'
- Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller.com
Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook says he has 'a responsibility to manage people's expectations'.
The Blues boss cleared the decks following a second year of the club failing to finish in the League One play-off places, with 23 players who featured in the league last season having been released or sold and others demoted to the Under-23s.
Backed by the club's new US-based owners, the experienced Liverpudlian has signed 14 players so far - many of whom have Championship experience and/or reputations of being top League One performers.
Town have been installed as the bookies' second favourites for promotion, behind Sunderland, but have started the campaign with a 2-2 home draw against newly-promoted Morecambe and a 1-0 Carabao Cup exit at the hands of League Two side Newport County.
Addressing fans in his programme notes ahead of the Morecambe game, Cook write: "I've been involved in football for a long time and the start of a new season is always exciting.
"Add to that the return of supporters, a new era at a club and plenty of signings - how could someone not be excited? There is a feelgood factor around the club and it's amazing to be part of it.
"We've signed players, we're doing fans' forums, we've had two home pre-season friendlies - everything contributes to the feeling around the club.
"With that comes a responsibility to manage people's expectations.
"We are really looking forward to this season and it's great to have a high expectancy, but we have to be careful. The season will be long - there will be highs and there will be lows, but it's about sticking together. At the end of the season, we have to make sure we can look back and say 'we gave it everything'."
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He continues: "Something that gives you the platform to succeed in a long season is, of course, consistency. Within a campaign you will lose games, but, as I said, you must stick to your goal.
"Our goal is clear and we've put together a team to try and achieve it. We've signed some really good players and there are still more to come in.
"Our job is to get those players organised and in a position where they know exactly what their job is. From there, it's hard work. I want us to be a team that works extremely hard, and a team that plays on the front foot and excites our supporters.
"My promise to the supporters is that we will give it our absolute best to help this club. We will leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of our goal."
Town now have back-to-back away games, at Burton and Cheltenham on Saturday and Tuesday respectively.
TOWN'S NEXT SIX GAMES
Burton (a) - Sat, Aug 14
Cheltenham (a) - Tues, Aug 17
MK Dons (h) - Sat, Aug 21
AFC Wimbledon (h) - Sat, Aug 28
Wycombe (a) - Sat, Sept 4
Bolton (h) - Sat, Sept 11